The Court of Justice of the European Union has scored a big win for consumers, and more specifically gamers today, ruling that publishers cannot stop you from reselling, at least once, games purchased via online download.
“An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his ‘used’ licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet,” reads a snippet from the ruling.
The Court went on to state the exclusive right of distribution of a copy of a computer program covered by the license is “exhausted on its first sale”.
This means if your country is part of the European Union, you are free to sell downloaded games from any digital platform including the venerable ones like Valve’s Steam and EA’s Origin – no matter what end user agreement has been signed.
“Therefore, even if the licence agreement prohibits a further transfer, the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy,” the ruling continued.
It goes on to suggest that if you purchase a used game from your friend, you have the right to download said game from the publisher’s website: “Therefore the new acquirer of the user licence, such as a customer of UsedSoft, may, as a lawful acquirer of the corrected and updated copy of the computer program concerned, download that copy from the copyright holder’s website,” the Court said.
This piece of news has huge implications for European gamers, implications we’re happy weighs in the favor of the people and not the big conglomerates.
Valve and EA will have to make changes to their websites to reflect today’s ruling.